Thursday, April 19, 2007

Virginia Tech and the Resurrection

How does one make sense out of a senseless act?

This week, as we watched the tragic event at Virginia Tech unfold, most of us had no words; just raw emotion…and a question: Why? As the Virginia Tech community, and indeed the entire nation, grieves the tragic loss of so many lives, we are left with that nagging question: Why? In many ways, this question is unanswerable. Of course we can speculate: Could more have been done to prevent it? Should the authorities have acted more quickly? What about the warning signs present in the deranged individual who committed this heinous crime? Questions continue to abound; but none of them answer the ultimate question that is on the hearts of so many: Why does God allow these things to happen?

Let’s be honest though: even if we had a logical academic answer to this question we certainly would not be satisfied with it. The sad reality is that it happened, and the truth is that it doesn’t make sense; it shouldn’t have happened. So maybe the question to ask is not “Why?” Maybe the question that needs to be asked is “Who?” Who can bring comfort to those in sorrow? Who can bring peace to those in distress? Who can raise to eternal life those who have died? Who has the power to heal and to strengthen?

Anytime tragedy occurs there are always moments of light and hope. The candlelight vigil on Tuesday evening at Virginia Tech was a symbol of the light of faith and hope shining forth from so many in that community. Here’s an interesting question: Why do people gather to hold candlelight vigils in the midst of dark and sorrowful times? It’s because we believe that light can conquer the darkness. During this past week students, faculty, staff and family of the Virginia Tech community have gathered in prayer to seek strength and comfort in the Lord. We can learn a lesson from them: it is only the power of Christ’s Resurrection that can scatter the darkness of this moment. It is only the power of Christ’s Resurrection that can bring hope to what seems like a hopeless moment.

This massacre should not have happened. God did not will it to happen. Lives tragically ended, and now we grieve. But even in this dark moment the light of Christ’s Resurrection shines brightly in the faith of those who believe.

We pray for those who died and all who have been so deeply scarred by this tragedy. But we need to make a resolution: During this Easter season, we must be Christ’s light to a world that is so often in darkness. Christ’s light will shine, but only if we allow him to shine through us.


Blogger nicholas said...

To answer the question “Why does God allow these things to happen?” is that God can but wont stop some one form killing people because of one great thing that He gave us, free will. You see if God just stopped that poor Kid from killing those students that would take away the shouters free will. Don’t get me wrong, I am very saddened about what happened, but the shooter made a choice to kill those people and disobey God’s commandments. So, if God prevented the shooter from killing the kids He would be taking away his free will.

Your Friend in Christ,
Nicholas Robenhymer

April 23, 2007 at 8:05 AM  
Blogger Fr.Michael Najim said...


That's a good point about free will. God does allow us to make choices, even evil ones.
That's even more of a reason for us to shine the light of Christ's Resurrection to others, to help people understand that we are meant to make good, virtuous choices with our free will. The priest, in a particular way, plays a special role in teaching people how to make good moral choices.

Fr. Najim

April 28, 2007 at 11:12 AM  

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